History of Agnes Riley Gardens
Agnes Riley Gardens were formerly the grounds of Oakfield House owned by Frederick George Riley. In 1931 Mr Riley offered his property to the London County Council as a gift on condition that the 0.81 hectares of garden were made into a public open space and named Agnes Riley Memorial Garden. At that time the LCC was redeveloping this area, which contained a number of large houses. Mr Riley lived in the house until his death but in 1937 transferred the garden to the LCC. Its layout as a public park began in 1938 but was interrupted by WWII when the site was used partly for allotments and partly for military purposes, although a temporary playground existed. Mr Riley died in 1942 and in 1954 the whole site including that of the house, which was demolished, was laid out as a park. In the south was a children’s playground, paddling pool and games courts with the rest landscaped with trees, shrubs, lawns and an ornamental pond that remains an important feature. In 1952 the word ‘Memorial’ was dropped from the name.